23 June 2013 - QA 17

Dear Gurudev, how do we defend our civil and democratic rights without using violence? How to create a sense of belongingness in the society where the government is reinforcing polarization and using a divide and rule policy?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

A great cause has many obstacles and many challenges. When the challenges are bigger that is when we have to hold on to our values. I know that it is difficult to be peaceful when there is injustice, and especially when there is violence. We have to take that extra care and keep our spirits alive. We have to say that come what may we will hold on to our goal of our democratic rights.
When you are strong in your resolution I tell you the small setbacks that you face will be nothing. You will still march ahead.

To want justice and want your human rights and human values is not that easy. It is a long way. There are vested interests in the society and there are people who just want to hold on to power. There are people who act without thinking and the only l language they know is of violence. When this is the scenario we have to take that extra caution to continue our pursuit peacefully and in a nonviolent manner.

Our people should be are given that moral support that truth will always win. When you believe that truth will triumph you will be able to move through the challenges with confidence and the much needed courage.
When we get upset, stressed and angry, somewhere inside we are shaken and we lose energy. To take any big task we need enormous energy and this enormous energy comes with certain calmness within us.

Second is always be open to dialogue.

Third is, do not label a person or a set up as bad. Once you label, you close the door for communication. Mahatma Gandhi never labeled the British as the bad guys. He always had that line of communication open with them.Even after many atrocities he kept approaching them for dialogue. We should not think that the other people or the government is anti people. It will make us even angrier, and when we are angry we lose our energy even more.

The best thing is to keep of the line of communication open, be steadfast in your approach towards justice, towards democratic rights, towards peace, prosperity and progress. Be resolute and encourage people to be resolute and peaceful in there demonstrations. I know that it is easier said than done, but nevertheless we should move in this direction, for victory will be ours.